Flora B. Andrews
Flora Blackstone Andrews was the first African American female Supervisor of Pupil Personnel for the segregated Anne Arundel County Public Schools in 1953.
Flora Andrews began her educational career as an elementary school Principal in 1943, beginning her work at Skidmore Elementary School. Later, she became a Supervisor of elementary schools in 1945. Two years later, Mrs. Andrews began work in the Department of Pupil Personnel to help alleviate the issues and risks associated with school dropouts. In 1953 she was promoted to the position of Supervisor of Pupil Personnel. She worked in this position until she retired.
Flora was the eldest of ten children born in 1910 and raised in a segregated Annapolis, Maryland. Her mother was a homemaker, and her father worked, for a time, at the United States Naval Academy. Her parents instilled within all their children a love for continuous learning and a drive for self-determination. She had a propensity for learning, earning her bachelor’s degree from Morgan College (now Morgan State University), Baltimore, Maryland; her certificate in education from Bowie Normal School (now Bowie State University), Bowie, Md; and her master’s degree from the Hampton Institute (now Hampton University), Hampton, Virginia.
Flora also made time to marry USMC Tech Sargent Clifford J. Andrews before the start of WWII. And apart from her work in the school system, Mrs. Andrews was very active in her home church, Asbury United Methodist Church, in Annapolis. Maryland, and in her community activities within the Old Fourth Ward. In addition to working in the school system, she worked as a supervisor of adult sewing projects, and a teacher of adult education, under the founder of Annapolis’ own Fleet Business School (1934), Mrs. A. Gordon Fleet. The Fleet Business School continues today as a fully accredited, for-profit private institution operating in Riva, Maryland.
After Mrs. Andrews retired from the school system, she became an entrepreneur in 1941, partnering with her husband to own and run the Parole Restaurant renamed the Harlem Beer Garden in Annapolis, Maryland, mentioned in author Philip L. Brown’s, “The Other Annapolis.” The restaurant combined her love of home-style cooking and connecting with people. The name of the restaurant was in homage to the Black Renaissance neighborhood of Harlem, New York City, once home to numerous great achievers in various fields.
Mrs. Andrews continued bringing people together and encouraging others toward self-improvement through her business until her death in 1973. The original site of her restaurant was 1990 West Street, Annapolis, Maryland.